September 13, 2013
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well.  I'm out this week, but am happy that Commissioner Len Shaffer, who is Vice President and Acting President of our Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, accepted my offer as a guest writer for the GM Message.  Len is a good friend with a long history in the Neighborhood Council system, having been President of Tarzana Neighborhood Council and the Chair of the LANCC for many years.  He's a great advocate for us, and I'm thankful that he could write today.


Have a great weekend!



Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.


Greetings from the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners


Our meeting last Monday reminded me what a pleasure it is, and I know I speak for my fellow commissioners, to have the opportunity to meet so many active and enthusiastic Neighborhood Council volunteers from all over the city. We are often "blown away" by some of the best practices we hear about when holding our meetings out in the community. We are pleased to be able to recognize some of those best practices with the presentation of our Annual EmpowerLA Awards at this years Congress on Saturday September 28th. (Be sure to check out Commissioner Karen Mack's article below announcing the winners!)   

Last year the Commission took up the challenge put forward by former Commissioner Doug Epperhart to embark on an project to revise portions of the Plan and the rules that govern Neighborhood Councils. In order to do that three working groups were formed bringing together Neighborhood Council members and stakeholders from all across the city to consider and debate changes to the Plan and Ordinance. Members of those committees working with one another and EmpowerLA staff spent many hours over six months formulating motions and recommendations. In June and July the members of the three working groups came together in joint sessions to hammer out what we hoped would be consensus motions and recommendations.


These joint sessions produced recommendations touching upon neighborhood council elections and the role of DONE; revision of the definition of the troublesome Factual Basis Stakeholder; how Neighborhood Councils that wish to might subdivide; regional grievance procedures; Brown Act and posting requirements; and many more.


Two of those recommendations have already been vetted by the Education and Neighborhoods (E&N) Committee and are on their way to City Council; the Community Interest Stakeholder and amendment of the ordinance to allow DONE to take the lead in Neighborhood Council elections. In the coming weeks more of the Working Group's recommendations will be presented to the E&N Committee.


The Mayor's office has recently given us a hand by moving forward on appointments to the Commission. Monday night we welcomed Commissioner Victor Medina from the Harbor area to his first meeting. He made the long drive from San Pedro to the north Valley where we were hosted by Granada Hills South NC. On Friday September 6th the Mayor, subject to City Council confirmation, appointed Olivia Rubio from Boyle Heights NC to complete former commissioner Paul Park's term on the Commission. One more appointment and the Commission will again be at full strength.


With all of these exciting things the Commission still attends to the everyday business of Neighborhood Councils; boundary adjustments, Board changes; approval of citywide contracts for services; and other matters necessary for the day to day functioning of Neighborhood Councils.  


Remember, this is your Commission; we welcome NC members and stakeholders to all our meetings. Your thoughts and opinions are so important to us we are one of the few (perhaps the only) Commission that has a place for public comment at the beginning and end of our agenda. We hope to see many of you at the Congress as well as at our future meetings.

Len Shaffer
Vice-President and Acting President
Board of Neighborhood Commissioners



Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council Member Mike Bonin took to the streets for a Neighborhood Walk on the Westside, yet another iteration of Garcetti's commitment to "bring City hall to you" and Bonin's commitment to "new standards for accessibility and transparency in local government." The Neighborhood Walk was co-sponsored by the Venice Neighborhood Council and began with an opportunity to socialize over coffee and refreshments, followed by a day of walking, talking, and passing out flyers...


>>> continue reading 


LA's City Council voted unanimously to confirm Mayor Garcetti's four nominees to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. Jill Banks Barad, Founder and Chair of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and President of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, former U.S. Representative Mel Levine, attorney William Funderburk who also serves on the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and Bohnett Foundation Director Michael Fleming will be joining Christina Noonan on the panel...


>>> continue reading 


Mayor Eric Garcetti has nominated Boyle Heights resident Olivia Rubio to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, representing the East Planning Region and bringing the total number of Commissioners to six out of a total of seven seats.  Rubio released the following statement: "My fellow Angelinos, it is with deep humility that I wish to express my gratitude to our Mayor and his staff for the nomination to serve you in the capacity of Commissioner for the Board of Neighborhood Councils..."


>>> continue reading 


LA Police Commission's newly elected president, Steve Soboroff, wasted no time in laying down his mandate for the LAPD, issuing a challenge to embrace technology and proposing his "18 month, not 18 year" timeline for embracing innovations such as small video cameras that attach to officers' uniforms and would record potentially controversial encounters...


>>> continue reading 


The Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition held its monthly meeting at the Hollywood City Hall and featured Board of Public Works Commission President Kevin James, who has long been a partner with LANCC and the many Neighborhood Councils that represent the four million people in LA. James spoke (video) of the Commission's work and the need for greater connectivity with local communities and then made his pitch, urging Neighborhood Councils to appoint Public Works Liaisons that would represent the 95 NCs and provide the Bureaus within Public Works an opportunity to improve communications and accountability...


>>> continue reading 

The Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) held its monthly meeting at the Sherman Oaks Hospital, complementing a full agenda with a few moments of celebration as the representatives of the 34 Neighborhood Councils in the San Fernando Valley honored VANC Founder and Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council President Jill Banks Barad for her recent confirmation as a Board of Water and Power Commissioner...

 >>>continue reading 

The results are in! The winners of the 2013 EmpowerLA Awards were finalized at the September 9th special meeting of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. The vote on Monday was the culmination of a process that began in May. A total of 45 nominations were received for projects that exemplified the mission of Neighborhood Councils to engage local stakeholders with government and make government more accountable and responsive to the needs of their communities...

 >>>continue reading 

EmpowerLA and Nextdoor are working together on creating a citywide network of hyper-local neighborhood communities online, allowing the LAPD to reach out from the Chief's perspective or from the four Bureaus, or from the 21 LAPD divisions, or from the 168 Senior Lead Officers who work daily to engage the public in community policing partnerships...

 >>>continue reading 

Neighborhood Councils are not competing against each other but...sometimes its important to highlight those folks who raise the bar and set the standard. And so...ladies and gentlemen...a round of applause for the first three Councils to achieve complete Board compliance with Ethics and Funding Training...

 >>>continue reading 

The annual LA Congress of Neighborhoods is happening on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles. We have some amazing workshops this year that are filling up quickly! Please put this on your Neighborhood Council agendas and encourage your Board Members and active stakeholders to register ASAP!...

 >>>continue reading 

Effective September 1, 2013 your Board must now use a Board Vote Form on Funding Requests to track the voting results of any funding matters brought before the Board. This form must be submitted with all demand warrants or as an attachment to the Monthly Expenditure reports for P-Card transactions voted on by the Board. The form can be found on our Funding page in both Excel and pdf versions...

 >>>continue reading 


We continue to see agendas that could use a little guidance with regards to content. Some of your agendas may lack language that is considered standard and helpful to your stakeholders such as who to contact for translation needs and/or issues of accessibility. When it comes to the actual manner in which items are displayed on the agenda, we are seeing less content than it is recommended. So, again, if you'd like to get ahead of the curve and prevent any issues before they become big problems, send us your agendas (pdf version) at, we are happy to review them and post them to ENS on your behalf...


>>>continue reading 

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10 days after your September NC Board Meeting
August Monthly Expenditure Reports due





FY 2012-13 Review 

Provide your feedback about how you think we did this past year



Register now for the Congress of Neighborhoods  

  Saturday, September 28 at City Hall. 




Neighborhood Council Parking Passes


Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Special Meeting

Mon, Sept. 16 

Time 1 pm


Education and Neighborhoods Committee Meeting

Tues, Sept. 17  

Time 1 pm


NC Budget Advocates


Tues, Sept. 17 

Time 7 pm


The TV Guide Building

1800 N. Highland

4th Floor 

Hollywood  90028



Westside  Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) Meeting


Wed, Sept. 18

Time 8:30 - 10 am     


Lenny's Deli

2379 Westwood Blvd

  Westwood 90064



South Los Angeles Alliance of NCs (SLAANC) Meeting


Thurs, Sept. 19

Time 6:30 - 8:30 pm    


Community Health Councils

3731 Stocker, Ste 201

Los Angeles 90008 




PlanCheckNC Workshop - Reorganization of Building & Safety and the Planning Department - New Development Services Department



Sat, Sept. 21

Time 10 am - 12 noon


 North Valley City Hall

7747 Foothill Blvd.

Tujunga 91042



Congress of Neighborhoods




Sat, Sept. 28

Time 7:45 am - 4 pm


 City Hall

200 N Spring St.

Los Angeles  90012




Email City Hall at
Council File
Hot Sheet


Active Council Files that affect Neighborhood Councils citywide, which your Neighborhood Council may want to weigh in on:


Neighborhood Council System:



Referred to Education and Neighborhoods Committee  


12-1682-S1 New Neighborhood Council Stakeholder Definition

Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee  



12-1682 - Neighborhood

Report from E&N Committee; Scheduled in City Council 9/24 


Report back to Education and Neighborhoods Committee 90 days from 8/20

Scheduled in City Council 9/17   


Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee

11-1018  Neighborhood Council Grievance Policy and Process
Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee

 Citywide Issues:



13-1300-S1  Street Repair and Safety General Obligation Bond Program 

 24 recommendations approved by City Council 8/21; CLA and CAO report scheduled in City Council 9/17    


13-0600-S135  2013-2014 Appropriation Limit

CAO report dated 8/2; approved by Budget and Finance Committee 8/12  



13-0953 Citywide Municipal WiFi Initiative

Pending in Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee


 13-0941  Sidewalk Repair Adjoining Property Owner  Fee Elimination  

 9/4 Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee continued for 30 days   


13-0909  DWP Unlimited
Sick Pay Policy

Referred to Energy and Environment Committee  7/26


13-0650 Removal of Obstructions in the Street or Sidewalk Penalties 

Pending in Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee   


09-2645 - Cell Tower (AGF) Regulations in Public
Right of Way

City Attorney draft ordinances referred to Planning and Land Use and Public Works Committees 


 12-0460 - Comprehensive Zoning Code Revision

Five year effort underway; updates at


 13-0658 - Sidewalk Dining / Storefront Furniture / Temporary Permit Process

Scheduled in Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee 8/21 


11-0923  Regulation of
Art Murals

   Ordinance effective date 10/12/13; related motions referred to Arts, Parks Health, Aging, and River Committee and the Planning and Land Use Management Committee 8/28

11-0262 - State Licensed Facilities/Community Care Facilities

Referred to Ad Hoc Committee on Community Care Facilities on 1/30

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Management System

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Los Angeles, CA 90012